A New Right Coming?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is telling his readers to “Prepare for the Rise of the Right.” To be frank, I don’t know what to make of it. By describing a potential trajectory of ascent for a political leader of the Right, is Longenecker merely making a positive analysis or is he longing for such a figure himself? He wants his readers to “watch and be alert,” though not for the purposes of resisting the Right. In fact, the only warning Longenecker gives runs as follows:

Updates and Improvements

Over the next week I plan to make some updates and improvements to the blog while also loading up fresh content. If you catch an error, such as a broken link or ill-working widget, please bring it to my attention. After much resistance, I finally created a real “About” page (of sorts). The first of several generously donated images has now replaced the dull, grey background that several readers rightly chided me for. I am steadily expanding the “Blogroll” and “Sites of Interest” links. If you happen to link to this blog and I haven’t linked you back, it’s not out of ingratitude; I am just slow-moving with these things. And as always, if you have any suggestions for improving Opus Publicum, I am all eyes.

Weekly Reading – August 29, 2014

Going off a thought when I wrote “More Things to Read,” on Fridays or Saturdays I will post a “roundup” of things that caught my eye the previous week which a few of you may find interesting. Some of this material probably warrants a good deal of commentary, but my time, as usual, is limited. As always I thank anyone and everyone who, via this blog, Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail, keep my eyes and mind occupied while confirming that not everything on the Internet is worthless.

Thinking Through Books

There seems to be something going around on web-logs and social media concerning ten (or so) books which people consider personally important and/or exerted considerable influence upon their thinking. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, for instance, has posted hers; my Facebook feed is filled with at least a dozen more such lists. Because I would hate to feel left out from the fun, I offer below my own ten titles (well eleven) with the preliminary remark that I am in considerable less agreement with these books now than when I first read them. In a sense they represent stepping stones on my less-than-linear journey to wherever I happen to be today. I have purposefully left off a large number of “Great Books” which everyone who is capable should try and digest at some point in their lives (e.g., Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, St. Augustine’s Confessions, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, and so forth). I have also left off any and all explicitly Catholic works, mainly because I plan to dedicate another post to them in the future. I imagine that some of you will be surprised by at least one or two title that pops up on the list below. I am not, for the time being, adding any explanations. Enjoy, and feel free to share yours if you are so inclined.

Libertarian, Or Not

Joe Carter, writing on the Acton Institute Power Blogexpresses skepticism toward the results of a recent Pew survey which purportedly reveals that approximately one-in-ten Americans describe themselves as libertarian. That would be frightening if true, but thankfully it isn’t — or so says Carter. Carter’s rightful concern is that a significant portion of those surveyed hold views which are contrary to libertarian orthodoxy, such as “say[ing] that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest” or holding that public assistance to the poor “does more good than harm because people can’t get out of poverty until their basic needs are met.” Carter believes that this is proof that most people don’t understand the political labels they apply to themselves. Maybe. Or maybe it’s because political reality, like economic reality, is a bit messier than some would like and not all of the world can be packaged into an ideological box; sometimes experience and reflection interfere with ideological purity.

If We Stop Talking About Vatican II

If we, traditional Catholics, stop talking about the Second Vatican Council, will the liberals? How about the neo-Catholics? I don’t mean “never mention the Council again.” Rather, I mean going on almost endlessly — and negatively — about this-or-that ambiguity in the conciliar texts or this-or-that problematic interpretation, implementation, or downright imposition in the name of the “Spirit of the Council.” Despite the hopes of some traditionalists, Vatican II is not simply going to go away. I suspect that most would prefer that, given present realities, our current Pope refrain from calling another council to “update,” “discuss,” or “clarify” Vatican II. Let it rest. It has only been 50 years. And while there may be a good argument out there that the last five decades has sucked dry the Council’s relevancy, that doesn’t mean it needs an official point-by-point overhaul either. To attempt one now would likely lead to further, not less, ambiguities. Moreover, it seems as if the present leadership of the Church is even more divided and, in some instances, doctrinally suspect than the body of fathers who came together in October 1962 to inaugurate a new “springtime for the Church.”

Head of UGCC on Ukraine

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), has issued an open letter concerning the situation in Ukraine and the persecution of Greek and Roman Catholics, along with Protestants and non-Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox, in the so-called “separatist region” of the country. The letter also addresses the stream of invective which has been flowing out of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) recently. Here is an excerpt: